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From soapbox
to teleprompter
Has Changed
The 3 Cs of
When I started attending International Con-
ventions as the spouse of a district and area
governor about a dozen years ago, I noticed
the interactions of district leaders. Some lead-
ers stick together like glue, while others go
their own separate ways, barely talking to each
other. In the years since joining the Board in
2006, I realized that the manner in which the
top three district officers interact with one another is a fairly good indica-
tor of the quality of teamwork among them, and in turn, a predictor of their
districts success in the year ahead.
If leadership is about inuencing others to achieve a common goal, then
the rst task is to build a team, or as the 2012 Golden Gavel recipient John
C. Maxwell said, From me to we. To get to the we requires the three Cs:
Communication. For an organization dedicated to communication and
leadership, it is ironic that members of a district leadership team at times
fail to communicate with one another, especially on important things like
goal setting, strategy and decision making. Communication is the basic
ingredient for establishing essential trust, which in turn empowers the team
to be successful.
Collaboration. Only with communication can there be collaboration,
which is what makes members function as a team. For a leader to gain the
collaboration of the team members, he or she needs to have an open heart
and mind. We need to overcome the all too human attachment to being
right. This would mean putting aside our ego and being willing to be wrong.
Commitment. Once a team has communication and collaboration, it
can get the commitment of its members to move toward a shared vision
and goal. An individuals power is raised exponentially with the help of a
team. When a district member sees the 3 Cs in her leadership team, she is
inspired to emulate the behavior of those leaders and give them her support.
Whether you are a club or district leader, Toastmasters is a great practice
field for leadership. Since you arent giving Toastmasters members a job or
a paycheck, they follow you only because they choose to. As you exercise
this purest form of leadership, look around to see if you are empowering or
disempowering your team.
International President
2013-2014 OFFICERS
International President
George Yen, DTM
International President-Elect
Mohammed Murad, DTM
First Vice President
Jim Kokocki, DTM
Second Vice President
Mike Storkey, DTM
Immediate Past President
John Lau, DTM
Chief Executive Ofcer
Daniel Rex
Sally Newell Cohen

Daniel Rex
Managing Editor
Suzanne Frey
Senior Editor
Paul Sterman
Associate Editor
Mary Neseld
Junior Writer
Jennie Harris
Editorial Assistant
Julie E. Kim
Art Direction
Susan Campbell
Graphic Design
Deidre Gafney
P.O. Box 9052, Mission Viejo, CA 92690 U.S.A.
949-858-8255 Fax: 949-858-1207 Voicemail: 949-835-1300
For information on joining or
building a club, visit:
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efective communicators and leaders.
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Printed in U.S.A.
Tom Jones, DTM
Region 1
Mike Barsul, DTM
Region 2
Karen Blake, DTM
Region 3
Patricia Hannan, DTM
Region 4
Alan Shaner, DTM
Region 5
Lori Lococo, DTM
Region 6
Sharon Anita Hill, DTM
Region 7
Kristina Kihlberg, DTM
Region 8
Richard Peck, DTM
Region 9
Don Grifth, DTM
Region 10
Khaled Matlagaitu, DTM
Region 11
Mike Helm, DTM
Region 12
Deepak Menon, DTM
Region 13
Joseph Gomez, DTM
Region 14
Australian voice-over artist leads
from the drivers seat.
By Craig Harrison, DTM
Newspaper columnist
shares PR strategies.
By Marie Hulett, ACB, CL
A three-step process to
organizing your thoughts.
By Joe Cooke, J.D., ACB
Millennials: Unplug yourselves to form
meaningful connections.
By Ryan Jenkins, ACB
Te 7 traits mentees look
for in mentors.
By Jennifer Przybylo and Nina Vasan
How musical rhythms and vivid
language punch up your speech.
By Kate Bateman
If variety is the spice of life, slang is the
spice of language.
By Richard Lederer, Ph.D.
Speaking Face-to-Face
16 How to work a room
in the digital age.
By Susan RoAne
How Technology Has
Changed Public Speaking
22 From soapbox to teleprompter
the evolution of public speaking
brings new challenges.
By Denise Graveline
Te 3 Cs of Team-building
By George Yen, DTM
International President
A Tragic Death Becomes
a Tipping Point
By Tammy Langley, CC
Marketing Mind Control
By John Cadley
OCTOBER 2013 VOL. 79, NO. 10
10 28
Alumni Contributions
The article Go Back to CollegeAs the
Teacher! by Jennifer Cunningham
(August) was amazing, and very timely.
I recently visited The Johns Hopkins
University in Baltimore, Maryland, and
discovered that many changes have
occurred since I graduated from the
school. They now have a Toastmasters
club! It got me thinking about how to best
mark the upcoming alumni celebration.
As we consider ways to make college
campuses conducive to Toastmasters
clubs (and vice versa), we are in a unique
position to motivate, inspire and promote
communication and leadership to those
coming after us.
In addition to the post-secondary
programs Cunninghams article alludes
to, I would add that high school alumni
groups also give us the opportunity to give
back by speaking, and to potentially
impact the futures of others.
Life Learners Club
Rochester, New York
Leaders or Followers?
In the May Q&A with Marilyn vos Savant
(IQ Champ Offers Smart Talk), I was
stunned by Ms. vos Savants response to
the question Can people be taught to be
effective leaders, or are the essential
qualities inborn? I agree with her that
many (or most) people can be taught, but
she goes on to say, Why devote the time
and effort?
I believe Ms. vos Savant failed to consider
her audience: members of an organization
whose tagline is Where Leaders Are Made.
Yes, followers are valuable, but dont we
want to choose whether to be a leader or a
follower in any given situation? When we
nd ourselves in circumstances where
leadership is lacking, dont we all want the
skills to contribute in a positive way?
Were not all aiming to be politicians or
inspirational speakers. Many of us simply
want to be empowered to step up to the
plate when the situation calls for it. Tats
leadership, too.
ReadSoft Toastmasters
Kista, Sweden
Praise for College Clubs
I very much enjoyed reading When
Clubs Mean Business by Jennifer L.
Blanck (August). As an undergraduate, I
would have liked it if my school had a
Toastmasters club. One can never under-
estimate the immense value of Toastmas-
ters. The saying practice makes perfect
holds great merit. I look forward to using
the article to help encourage others. I may
even encourage my alma mater to start a
Toastmasters club.
Castleton Toastmasters
Indianapolis, Indiana
Not Happy with
Magazine Changes
I, for one, have not found the changes to
the Toastmaster magazine over the last two
years to my liking. Since the new branding,
the Toastmaster seems to have changed
from a fun, simple and effective member-
friendly publication to a bells and whistles
publication made to read more like a
professional journal that focuses on
communication for specialized groups like
doctors, lawyers and politicians.
Te July issue, with its special medical
theme, belongs in a doctors oce, not a
regular Toastmasters mailbox. I miss the
old Toastmaster magazine!
Katy Toastmasters
Katy, Texas
Members Do So Much
I absolutely agree with the May
Viewpoint by 20122013 International
President John Lau (Members Are Our
Future). Being the president of the
Macau Toastmasters club, I realize how
vital members are; they not only help the
club expand, but they convey the
benefits and values of Toastmasters to
their friends and business clients.
As Dr. Ralph C. Smedley said, Ours is
the only organization I know dedicated to
the individual. We work together to bring
out the best in each of us and then we
apply our skills to help others. I keep
delivering the best of our club to everyone
I know.
Besides attending club meetings and
participating in meeting roles, members
show their talents and abilities to the public,
revealing how Toastmasters can make
people better communicators and leaders.
Macau Toastmasters club
Macao, Macau
Practicing and Pausing
Practice Pays Off and Use a Pause to
Punch Up Your Punch Line, by Lynn
MacKaben Brown and John Kinde, respec-
tively (June), are eye-openers. The authors
practical life examples touch the heart and
inspire us to follow in the same footsteps.
At times, I remain condent and deliver
speeches reasonably wellbut its dierent
with Table Topics. However, after reading
Ms. Browns masterpiece, I feel I can do it!
It is Table Topics that prepares one for
leadership. Once I am done with this
exercise in improvisational speaking, I
savor the experience. It helps me prepare
me for additional unforeseen situations.
Also, John Kinde is absolutely correct in
his emphasis on the pause. Te pause is a
meaningful communication. It broadens
the value of a speech like spices in a
delectable dish.
SABIC Stars club
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Write it in 200 words or less. State your
name, member number and home club,
and send it to
Please note: Letters are subject to
editing for length or clarity, and may
be published in both the print and
electronic versions of the magazine.
Find the Toastmaster
magazine app on the
Apple App Store
A Tragic Death Becomes
a Tipping Point
How I turned my grief into a message of hope.
was far from home, visiting my daughter on the Oregon coast
when shocking news crashed over me like a tidal wave. My
friend Mary (a pseudonym) had been murdered. (Her husband
was later found guilty of the crime.)
For several hours, I sat looking at the gray ocean as my
emotions ebbed and owed like
breakers on the sand. I couldnt imagine
the horric pain Marys children,
family and friends were feeling. My
own grief was indescribable. Mary was
an amazing teacher and community
volunteer. Her tragic death would leave
a void no person could replace.
Malcolm Gladwell suggests in his
book The Tipping Point that one idea,
event, decision or person can become
a catalyst for colossal change. Marys
death became a tipping point for me.
She no longer had a voice, but I did.
I returned home to Idaho where
I volunteered at the Nampa Family
Justice Center as an advocate for those
aected by domestic abuse, family
violence and sexual assault. At the age
of 51, I had yet to speak of my own
violent attack and how it had aected
me. I broke the silence by sharing my
story with the local newspaper. Tis
created a ripple eect, with community
service clubs, churches, schools and city
leaders all asking me to speak. At the same time, I applied for and
received a scholarship to attend a seminar on public speaking.
While there, I learned about Toastmasters.
Honing a Message of Hope
In March 2011, I joined Toastmasters because I wanted to learn
how to communicate the message of hope, help and healing in
the most effective way possible. To be taken seriously, I needed
to deliver my message with excellence. I pursued that excellence
every week at our club meetings.
I participated in a community event to draw awareness to
family violence. Without any notice, I was asked by two news
stations and the Idaho Press-Tribune for an interview. My initial
reaction was panic. With only ve minutes to prepare, I took a
short walk to calm myself. Taking a deep breath, I spoke these
reassuring words: Tammy, Toastmasters has prepared you for
this moment. You are ready. Go speak with condence.
Te value of Toastmasters starts with a safe and supportive
environment. Te moment I walked into my rst club meeting, I
felt welcomed by a group of people who
knew what it was like to face their fears
of public speaking. Tey set the example
by mentoring and encouraging me to
take the next step.
Spreading the Word
Today, I regularly invite people to
attend a weekly Toastmasters meeting.
I do this as chairwoman of VOICES,
a group where survivors of domestic
abuse and/or sexual assault offer a
promise of hope by sharing stories of
freedom and encouragement through
However, speaking my story in
public involves risk. I often feel vulnerable and exposed. Not
everyone embraces the uncomfortable message of domestic
violence and its impact on society. But I have made a determined
decision to push back the darkness by using my voice.
Eleanor Roosevelt said, You gain strength, courage and
condence by every experience in which you stop to look fear
in the face. Do the thing you think you cannot do.
Marys death changed me. I gained strength and courage.
Trough the support of Toastmasters, I now speak with con-
dence and invite others to join me on the path of excellence.
TAMMY LANGLEY, CC, is a freelance writer and works as an
advocate at the Nampa Family Justice Center in Nampa, Idaho.
Tammy Langley is an advocate for victims of
domestic abuse at the Nampa Family Justice
Center in Nampa, Idaho.
Marys death became
a tipping point for
me. She no longer
had a voice,
but I did.
Ever since he was
a boy, Tidiane
Fofana, CC, CL,
has wanted to
be a diplomat.
He now works
at the Ghana
Embassy in Mali
as a translator,
and public relations officera good start
toward reaching his goal, says Fofana.
President of the Bamako-Ciwara
Toastmasters club in Bamako, Mali, he
speaks French, English and German,
as well as local Mali languages. Fofana
uses his translation skills for embassy
functions, official meetings and visits from
dignitaries. In addition, he teaches English
as a foreign language to local adults.
The game of cricket is Fofanas passion.
He coaches the sport to young people
and is president of the Malian Cricket
What do you like about living
in Mali?
I am very proud of its culture and the
warm welcome we extend to visitors. Mali
is one of the most welcoming countries in
the world.
How has Toastmasters helped
you in your profession?
In my work, I need to be a good
communicator and a good leader. In
addition to my other duties at the embassy,
I also act as the master of ceremonies
for most of the public events held there;
the regular and intelligent practice of
Toastmasters rules helps a great deal in
this regard.
How do your communication skills
benet you as a cricket coach?
My skills help me to motivate the kids,
while urging them to go forward. These
skills help me to be more attentive and a
good counselor.
Dreams of Diplomacy
Te rst Toastmasters club met 89
years ago in Santa Ana, California.
Why not plan a special anniversary
meeting in your club? See the timeline
for historical milestones.
Toastmasters International is seeking
great speakers for the 2014 International
Convention in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
If you or someone you know have
proven experience in addressing
international audiences and an ability
to engage groups of 500 or more,
apply at
Every August, members around the
globe convene to celebrate the years
successes with like-minded friends.
Learn about future International
Conventions at www.toastmasters.
If you prefer to read the Toastmaster
via the iPad app or the online ipbook,
you may opt out of receiving the print
edition. Send a request to magazine@
Toastmasters welcomes clubs in eight
additional countries: Afghanistan,
Antigua/Barbuda, Cambodia, Colombia,
Dominica, Israel, Lao Peoples Democratic
Republic, and Rwanda.
Whats in a Yawn?
Yawning is the involuntary act of opening
the mouth to take a deep breath, yet not
all yawns are the same. Each culture has its
own perspective on yawning.
For example, in India, some people believe yawning is dangerous,
thinking bad spirits can enter the body through the mouth. In many
other cultures, yawning is thought to communicate tiredness or
boredom and is seen as a sign of disrespect or contempt.
Despite the negative connotations, recent studies have revealed a com-
ponent of empathy in some yawns. Garrett Norris, a lecturer in psychology
at the University of Leeds in England, believes contagious yawning indi-
cates empathy [and] an appreciation of other peoples' behavioral and
physiological state." Italian researchers agree, also nding a correlation be-
tween yawn contagion and empathy, according to a 2011 behavioral study.
In Brief
District 25 Division Governor Jamie Pickering, DTM, of the Aegonizers club
in Bedford, Texas, scuba dives in the Columbia Deep Reef in Cozumel, Mexico.
A dedicated Toastmaster, she tried to get the turtle to attend a meeting.
How did you overcome stage fright
and nervousness?
Nerves are a valuable source of energy to be directed into
the speech, rather than into the speaker. It took me years to
relax on stage, while my speech did the running around and
screaming. My condence lies in my preparation: When I have
a carefully structured and targeted script that I know well, Im
less nervous. I have my notes in my pocket, so I have no fear
of forgetting my lines. I build up physical energy beforehand
by pacing as I check my script. I take some long, slow, deep
breaths to oxygenate myself and slow down, and a sip of water,
and then, Its show time, folks!
It is not the size of words
that counts, but the clearness
with which they represent
your thoughts.
My club has a FreeToastHost
website. How do I insert images
and graphs into the site?
You can go to the FreeToastHost support
group via the link provided in the Members
Only menu on your club website. It
provides answers to questions about how
to use the program, with these answers
being produced both by support group
personnel and by other Toastmasters who
volunteer as FreeToastHost ambassadors.
The support group section includes several
discussions about handling pictures.
J. Bradford Seabury, ACB, CL
Ad Libs Toastmasters,
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
I was the web administrator when we
started our club six years ago, and I found
the FreeToastHost online help files helpful,
as well as the comments forum. If you are
not sure about how to do something, you
can usually find the solution in either of
those places.
Dorothy De Young, DTM
Brainwave Speakers club,
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Members contributed to the discussion on the LinkedIn
Ocial Toastmasters International Members Group.
Jock Elliott
In this months column, Jock Elliott,
the 2011 Toastmasters World
Champion of Public Speaking, shares
lessons learned. He is a member of
the Adventurers club in Brisbane,
Queensland, Australia.
Why did you join Toastmasters?
My manager recommended it. Once I
joined, my company saw improvement in my
speaking abilities and added Toastmasters
goals to my professional objectives.
What were some challenges
you wanted to overcome in
I am a U.S. citizen, and while my use
of the Italian language was fine, I felt
uncomfortable speaking in formal
occasions. I wanted to improve my level of
confidence, particularly in front of senior
executives or important clients.
Tell us about your mentor.
Francesco Vecchi has a knack for creating
an atmosphere of understanding. He
helps mentees meet their goals or deliver
speeches by breaking down a problem and
analyzing each aspectthrough emails or
phone calls, as preferred by the mentee
sometimes over a meal! He recognizes the
No one has the potential to influence a members experience like a mentor. Laura Hoti,
CC, ALB, an investment bank operations manager and member of the Milan-Easy club in
Milano, Italy, shares how she has benefited from her mentor, Francesco Vecchi, CC, ALB,
of the same club.
efforts of others, while not mentioning his
own. I dont know how he finds the time
to do all that he does, while managing
personal hobbies, which include dancing
Argentine tango.
What goals have you accomplished
with the help of Francesco?
Francesco convinced me I could achieve
a Competent Leader award despite time
constraints. He also helped me, when I
was vice president education, to earn our
clubs Distinguished recognition for the first
timeand he gave me all the credit. Ive also
become a mentor myself, mentoring Anto-
nio De Nes since he joined our club in 2011.
Since then Ive also mentored two additional
members, and one experienced member,
with the preparation of speeches in English.
What is your favorite thing about
It is his credibility.
Francesco Vecchi, CC, ALB
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Francesco Vecchi, Laura Hoti, and her mentee, Antonio De Nes.
inspires you?
Te words of our late Executive
Director Terry McCann inspire
me: Jack, its all about the club!
Te club is where it all happens.
Te words of Past International
President Teodore Wood (1986
87) also inspire me. He said, Te
club is the delivery system of
Toastmasters International.
New members in my Toast-
masters club inspire me with their
enthusiasm, new ideas, willing-
ness to participate and eagerness
to take on leadership roles. New
members focus on the club. Tat
is where they take their rst steps
into the wonderful world of life-
long, self-directed learning.
And so, to all of my Toast-
masters mates: Remember to
nurture your club. Tats where
it all happens. In the words of
Dr. Ralph Smedley, Make your
meeting the most attractive spot
in town when the hour of assem-
bly comes around.
Past International President
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Boost Your
Facebook Quotient
Like it or not, Facebook is
a great place to interact with
Toastmasters friends. Use these
shortcuts to maximize your
social networking experience on
the Toastmasters International
Official Fan Page:
Tag friends to customize
and highlight your posts.
Type an @ sign within your post,
and begin typing a friends name.
A drop-down menu appears that will
allow you to select the correct name.
Show where youre
posting from.
Click on the Google Places icon under
the text field to type in your location.
Browse photos with ease.
Once in the theater mode, you can
use the arrows on your keyboard to
view images.
Use hashtags to call
attention to your posts.
Type the # sign, followed by a word
or words without spaces inserted
(e.g., #whereleadersaremade) to create
a searchable link.
Evolution of the Toastmaster Magazine
* Circulation does not coincide with paid memberships. Members who belong to more
than one club receive multiple magazines, and non-members can pay to subscribe.
Stephen Covey (left) receives the 2004 Golden Gavel award from then-International
President Ted Corcoran, DTM. Covey died in July 2012 but remains famous for his time
management business and books, most notably The Seven Habits of Highly Effective
People, which sold more than 25 million copies worldwide.
When comparing the rst Toastmaster magazine with a recent issue, its clear it has
evolved in many ways. Not only has the magazine's appearance changed signicantly,
but technology has provided a variety of ways to interact with its content.
The first issue was published in
April 1933 as a quarterly 20-page
newsletter. It featured brief news
from most of the clubs that existed
at the time. The magazine measured
only 3.5-by-6 inches and could fit in
the palm of a hand. It was printed
with black ink on a mimeographa
low-cost printing press.
Today, the 8.5-by-11-inch magazine
has 32 pages that offer information
on a range of topics. It is produced
on a web-fed press that has wide
rollers spinning at high speeds. This
month, circulation almost reached
308,000 copies.* An online edition
of the magazine is available, and as
of September 2013, members can
download an app to read it on an iPad.

the Mind
2013 1933
er voice is in 100 million GPS
(Global Positioning System) units
worldwide, including Garmin, TomTom,
Navman and Mio products. Youve likely
been in cars and elevators and on hold
with her and some of you have cursed
her when lost, or professed your love for
her for helping you navigate your route.
Karen Jacobsenknown as the GPS
Girlis the woman behind the voice.
She is also heard in automated voice
systems for telephones, elevators and
hotels. Besides being a voice-over artist,
she is a speaker, singer and songwriter.
Currently a New York City
resident, Jacobsen grew up in Mackay,
Queensland, Australia (where she
idolized the Australian singer and
actress Olivia Newton-John). She
began singing at age 7 and completed a
Toastmasters Youth Leadership program
in high school.
Success hasnt come easy to Jacobsen:
She spent years battling stage fright. But
these days she sings and speaks to large
audiences and provides directions to
millions of people around the world.
Q: How did you become the
universal voice for GPS navigators?
A: Would you believe it was through an
audition? A couple of years ago I received
a call out of the blue from an agent whose
client was looking for a native Australian
female voice-over artist living in the
northeastern United States. I thought,
That job is mine!
I went to downtown New York City
to audition. Te client was creating a
text-to-speech system and said it would
take about 50 hours to do the recording.
I read a few sentences in a very calm and
consistent Australian accent and tone.
Tey [the people running the audition]
gave me a little direction and I read
a few more lines. Tey said, Tat is
wonderfulour people will book you.
I got the job on the spot. It was an
amazing thing.
What were the recording
sessions like?
The client had me record a maximum
of four hours a day to allow my voice to
sound calm and consistent and avoid fa-
tigue. For three weeks I recorded from
9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
What do people say to you when
they recognize your voice as the
same one they hear on their GPS?
I have had hundreds of experiences of
people wanting to tell me their GPS
stories. They are very familiar with me,
because to them I represent a real driving
companion. They feel they are, or have
been, in a relationship with me!
I have people apologize for yelling
at me, apologize for cursing me. One
woman apologized for strangling me
when the GPS cable got caught on the
steering wheel as she tried putting the
GPS device on the windshield.
One doctor thought I was a former
patient based on my voice. A friend
from Australia bought me (through the
GPS system) as a Christmas gift for her
husband. Other friends I ride with wanted
me to give live directions from their cars
back seat to compare them to Australian
Karens vocal stylings from the front seat.
One time I was in an elevator with
my family at the airport in Brisbane
[Australia] and was told, over the public
address system, what oor I was onin
my own voice! My father said, Karen,
that was you, wasnt it?!
Have you always had a poised
presence? Are you a natural?
Not at all. As a child, and into adulthood,
I was extremely anxious and fearful. To be
I have had hundreds
of experiences of people
wanting to tell me their
GPS stories people
apologize for yelling
at me.
The GPS Girl:
Helping Us Find Our Way
Australian voice-over artist leads from
the drivers seat.
frank, I had to overcome chronic anxiety
to become somebody who could be in
front of people or in the studio without
panicking. I worked through this for
How did fellow Aussie Olivia
Newton-John inuence you?
When I was 7, I saw this blonde Australian
singer on TV who had moved to America.
She had become so successful and she
loved the U.S. I wanted to be just like her.
She had an amazing impact on me.
A few years ago I was invited to a
black-tie gala where Olivia Newton-John
was to perform and be honored. My
husband and I were told that we would
sit at Olivias table.
At the gala we saw her seated,
surrounded by people. We were escorted
through the crowd and were suddenly
face-to-face with Olivia Newton-John.
I was awestruck. I gushed, Oh! I just
really want to acknowledge and thank
you for being such an inspiration on all
the major decisions of my life, from what
I do to where I live. She said, What a
lovely thing to say. What is your name?
I said, I am Karen Jacobsen, and she
saidand I kid you notYou are Karen
Jacobsen? I love your CD!
How do you get comfortable
when performing onstage?
I try to remember to focus on the people
I perform for. Whether its a singing
performance or a speech, if I start to feel
nervous I make a point of remembering
that I will only be anxious if I focus
on myself. When I am focused on the
audience, I am not nervous.
When you arent doing voice-over
work, what else are you involved in?
I remain active as a singer. My eighth
music CD was released last March. I
recently published a book, The GPS
Girls Road Map for Your Future, and
I divide my time between singing at
public events and for corporate clients.
Ive maintained my GPS Girl brand
across my different offerings: concerts,
speaking presentations and songwriting.
I help people recalculate, give them
direction and show them how to create
the road map for their life.
Learn more about Karen Jacobsen at
professional speaker and co-founder of the
LaughLovers Comedy club in Oakland,
California, and the founding chairman
of the National Speakers Associations
Storytellers Professional Emphasis
Group. Learn more about him at www.
Karen Jacobsen, known to commuters for her voice in GPS systems, is a singer and songwriter
who also delivers speeches at conferences and other major events.
Jacobsen provides directions to drivers
from GPS units in automobiles throughout
the world.
f you are thinking about taking on the
public relations duties for your Toast-
masters club, or for another organiza-
tion that you are passionate about, con-
sider these tips for success from members
who have already traveled down that path.
Lisa Berry, DTM, the 20122013 public
relations ocer (PRO) for District 58 in
South Carolina, recommends checking the
websites of your local television stations
to see if they have any morning shows you
could appear on.
Many stations will have spots for non-
prots that are free of charge, Berry says.
If they do, obtain the appropriate request
forms, ll them out and send them in. Do
the same thing with local radio stations,
she advises.
If you do have a media opportunity,
Berry adds, provide compelling informa-
tion to your audience.
Appeal to the Whats in it for me?
factor, she says. People are so busy and
have so many options nowadays that just
speaking about [Toastmasters] is no longer
enough. We need to appeal to an audi-
ences needs, wants and desired achieve-
ments in order to get their attention.
Berry recalls being interviewed on her
local ABC-TV station regarding an upcom-
ing District 58 conference. She explained
that she joined Toastmasters because the
ability to communicate eectively was
something she lacked in her personal and
professional life. Tis is something that
many viewers may relate to.
Be Enthusiastic!
Sylvia Nilsson-Barkman, DTM, lieuten-
ant governor marketing for District 64
in Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada, says its
important to convey genuine enthusiasm
for the events you are publicizing.
If you have ever heard former [U.S.]
college basketball coach and broadcaster
Jimmy Valvano speak, then you heard
his advice to approach life events with
Getting the Message Out
Newspaper columnist shares PR strategies.
Photography Tips
When you are trying to gain publicity, pictures are your friend. And with
modern cameras, amateur photographers can now shoot professional-quality
images that even 10 years ago would have been challenging to produce.
First, familiarize yourself with your cameras functions. (Yes, that does mean
you have to read your instruction book.) Find out where to select image quality.
Most digital cameras will allow you to set a le size or resolution. Always select the
highest-quality choice from this menu option. If you are shooting for print, your im-
ages should be at least 300 DPI.
If you are photographing a portrait, use the portrait function of your camera.
Move in close to your subject and frame him or her with just a little headroom. Dont
position your subject up against a wall. Instead, nd a background with depth and
color variety. Focus carefully on your subject and not the background. If you have
automatic focus on your camera, learn how to use it. Proper focus is essential to a
good portrait.
Good lighting is absolutely necessary for high-quality photos. But please dont
make your subjects stand with the sun blazing into their eyes; no one will be happy
with the squinty and most likely over-exposed results. Instead, shoot on a cloudy
day, or in the shade, with a few streams of sunlight sneaking in to highlight hair or
other accent areas, if possible. Diused light, especially in the early morning or early
evening hours (the golden hours), will yield beautiful photos.
By Marie Hulett
Many local TV stations have free time slots available for nonprot organizations.
How Your News Release
Should Look
How to Write a News Release
Follow these guidelines:
News release should be no longer than one page.
Include the Media Contact information in the upper right-hand corner
of the release. Under this title, include the rst and last name, telephone
number and email of your contact person (typically you).
In the top left-hand margin, insert the Toastmasters International logo from
the Brand Portal.
Create a headline in bold type and center it just above the rst line of the
body of the release. Make it the most important, signicant or surprising
fact in the release.
Te more care you put into crafting a news release, the greater the
possibility it will be used.
The most widely used means of informing the media of an event is through
a news release. With a well-crafted pitch, the news release alerts journalists
and editors about an event and serves as the basis for a potential news story.
Generally, it is best to tell Who, What, When, Where, Why and How in the
first two sentences of the release (called the lead). The lead provides read-
ers with an attention-grabbing hook and includes the basic information
that journalists need to decide whether to proceed with your story.
Begin by identifying the event (name, exact date and location) and
previewing the topics to be discussed. You can use the template on to get started. Photos, graphics and
logos are available at
In the second paragraph, quote the most important person in the release,
when applicable. In the remaining paragraphs, summarize three to ve main
points that might benet the targeted news outlet and its audience. Use
bullet points to highlight important information. Close by providing contact
information and a club or district website. At the bottom of the release, in-
clude the Toastmasters International boilerplate at
Make your release snappy, relevant and no longer than 500 words.
passion, she says. I feel the same way
about publicizing an organizations events!
Passion intensies the message because it
reaches our [audiences] emotions.
Robyn Richards, DTM, a former PRO
for District 17 in Western Australia,
recommends using as many mediums as
possible when youre promoting a Toast-
masters event, because people need to see
or hear about something ve times before
it sinks in and they take action.
When Australian Jock Elliott, ATM,
the 2011 Toastmasters World Champion
of Public Speaking, attended a District
17 conference, Richards recruited a local
radio station to interview Elliott by phone.
In addition, the district advertised widely
with brochures, posters and invitations to
meet Elliott.
Jatika Manigault, ACS, the 20122013
PRO of District 14 in the U.S. state of
Georgia, says using social media is a key.
Are you blogging? Tweeting? If not, you
should be. She adds that you should
introduce yourself to, and become familiar
with, people who work in local media.
And, Manigault says, learn how to write
an interesting news release.
Taking on public relations duties
requires a true commitment of time, cre-
ativity and energy. But if you are up for the
challenge, the rewards are huge. You will
change for the better the lives of people
you dont even know, and your own com-
munication skills will grow enormously.
For more information about public
relations in Toastmasters, visit
MARIE HULETT, ACB, CL, is a member
of the Watermeisters Toastmasters club in
Fountain Valley, California. She writes a
column about pets for the Orange County
Register newspaper.
Clear writing and clear
speaking are a result of
clear thinking.
t the beginning of each school term,
I hold a short brainstorming session
with my students, prompted by the ques-
tion, What attributes do you appreciate
in a great speaker? I get lots of shout-outs
for presentation, eye contact, movement,
variety and other elements of style and
voice. Inevitably, we all agree that we ap-
preciate a speech that is well-organized
and easy to follow. One approach to ef-
fective speech organization that I teach is
what I call Cloud Theory.
Cloud Teory in speech construction is
based on one fundamental principle: Clear
writing and clear speaking are a result of
clear thinking. Cloud Teory, as applied
to organizing and outlining written and
verbal communication, is a way of clarify-
ing thought. Te process focuses on the
organic nature of converting many ideas
into a unied whole, like rain into a barrel,
rather than the more technical mind-map-
ping process, which is a more formalized,
complex procedure.
Heres how the three-step process
works: (1) Brainstorm ideas without regard
to organization, (2) write each good idea
in one of three clouds drawn around the
central issue, and (3) convert your cloud
map into a traditional outline.
Te ideal outline for a short speech, say
three to 15 minutes long, should be limited
to three main points. Te rst step is
brainstorming. You can do that by yourself,
or with one or two trusted cohorts. Brain-
Mapping Out a Clear Message
A three-step process to organizing your thoughts.
storming should be nonjudgmental. In-
clude any idea that comes into your head
as you discuss or think about your topic.
Carry a journal or composition book or
use a digital device to record your ideas as
they come to you. Do not rely on memory.
Later, when you are grouping your ideas
into clouds, select the best ones.
Start Mapping
Once youve exhausted your workable (and
ridiculous) ideas, map out your clouds on a
piece of paper. Begin by drawing a circle in
the middle of a page, and have it represent
the central idea or topic. Next, draw three
large clouds around the circle.
In my public speaking courses, I estab-
lish the general scope of the nal speech
as Someone Youd Like to Meet. I set
this out on the rst day of class, and then
also assign the rst speecha benchmark
speech, which is simply a two-minute in-
troduction of the person each student has
picked for his or her nal speech project.
At that point, I introduce Cloud Teory
and we work together, in class, on creating
an outline.
For example, I choose someone cur-
rently in the news, and write the persons
name in the middle of a circle that I draw on
the board. Tat is the topic. Next, I switch
to another whiteboard and, as a class, we
brainstorm things about the topic.
Recently, we performed this exercise
based on Burmese pro-democracy leader
Aung San Suu Kyi. After a short brain-
storm session, we compiled the follow-
ing list: Burma (now called Myanmar),
politics, military junta, father, democratic
movement, house arrest, Peace Prize, in-
cident at Irrawaddy Delta, current events,
mother, husband, studies, travel, spiritual
practices, followers.
Once you have a good list of major and
minor points, cloud them up by plac-
ing points from your brainstorm list into
one of the three clouds that you drew.
You might end up moving your points
from one cloud to another, but the goal
is to nd commonalities, relationships
and other natural or logical connections
between ideas. When nished, youll have
three clouds full of ideas, with some on
the cutting-room oor (you may pick
them up again later). See the illustration
below for an example of how we clouded
up our points for Aung San Suu Kyi.
Create Headings and an Outline
Finally, label each cloud to create major
headings. Now you have your topic, three
major headings and points supporting
each one. Look for the logical segues be-
tween clouds and create a five-part outline.
After less than an hour, our prototypi-
cal benchmark speech for Aung San Suu
Kyi came out like this:
Introduction: Aung San Suu Kyi. Shes
been called Burmas Iron Lady, but shes
anything but that. She is as supple as a
willow, strong as an oak, placid as a calm
lake and deep as the Pacific Ocean. The
military junta that has controlled Burma,
now called Myanmar, has had her under
house arrest for most of the past 30 years
for the crime of promoting democracy in
her country.
1. My speech will briefly describe Myan-
mar, where it is, the political climate and
how it came to be, and why the people
so desperately seek a more democratic
form of government.
2. Then, I will introduce Aung San Suu Kyi
more thoroughly, who she is, what she
believes and why, including information
about her mother, her father, the places
shes studied, the people shes admired
and why, and other influences on her life
and her philosophy.
3. Finally, I will talk about the activities
that led her into peaceful conflict with
the government, and ultimately, to her
long-standing house arrest and a Nobel
Peace Prize in 1991. I will finish with the
current events in Myanmar that indicate
that the country is finally moving to-
ward democracy.
Conclusion: Aung San Suu Kyi is
more than just an icon for democracy. Her
decades of peaceful resistance and loving
self-sacrifice have been instrumental in
bringing world awareness and internal
change to her beloved country. Shes stood
up to armed soldiers and years of persecu-
tion, and yet shes retained her sense of
loyalty, pride and dedication.
I will end my speech with these two
quotes from Vclav Havel, one of the lead-
ers of the Velvet Revolution that brought
Czechoslovakia out from under the Com-
munist regime:
Te salvation of this human world lies
nowhere else than in the human heart,
in the human power to reect, in human
meekness and human responsibility. And
nally, Work for something because it is
good, not just because it stands a chance
to succeed.
Its tempting to shorten the process, but
thats one of the reasons people get stuck
when writing a speech. Tey try to create
an outline from scratch, before brain-
storming ideas and clouding them up.
Youll nd outlining, writing and present-
ing easy, fast and ecient when you follow
the cloud process step-by-step, in order.
As you get better with this methodology,
you can create more clouds; but for most
short speeches, three clouds is plenty. It
achieves the goal of creating an ordered,
interesting and clear presentation.
In summary, the three-step cloud process
to create a five-part speech is to:
1. Brainstorm.
2. Cloud up your thoughts.
3. Outline your speech.
4. Edit and revise the outline.
5. Rehearse and perform your well-
organized, easy-to-follow speech.
JOE COOKE, J.D., ACB, is a Certified
Public Accountant who teaches business
classes, seminars and workshops. A resident
of Walla Walla, Washington, hes also a free-
lance writer, author and musician. You can
contact him via
Look for the logical
segues between
clouds and create a
ve-part outline.
More than a thousand consultants for a top international
accounting and consulting firm gathered in Florida for
networking, golf and a global conference. Attendees were
Bluetooth-wearing, laptop-carrying, smartphone-clutching
adults of varying ages. They listened in rapt attention as the
companys senior vice president described a new mandate
for them: Stop relying on technology to communicate with
clients! Increase your number of face-to-face meetings.
I was there to teach these consultants
how to do precisely that. As I looked
around at the attendees, it was apparent
they were uncomfortable with this
new approach. We all know people
who prefer to communicate digitally
rather than in person. We see them
preoccupied with their electronic
gadgets while ignoring people
around them. Consequently, they
Preparation Is Pivotal
The easiest way to connect with people
face-to-face in any situation is to be
prepared. To be prepared to work a
roomand most high-profile leaders
are good at doing thatkeep the follow-
ing three tips in mind.
Plan a conversational self-intro-
duction. Know how youre going to
introduce yourself in a business or social
gathering. Begin by preparing a greeting sev-
en to nine seconds long; tailor it to the event
you are attending to give others a context for
your appearance. Instead of simply reciting
your job title, convey the benefit of the work
you do, suggests executive speech coach
Patricia Fripp. This allows the person you
are speaking with to ask the first question,
putting him or her more at ease.
Write out three to five conver-
sation starters. Choose interesting
miss opportunities for serendipitous
connections and conversations.
Everything good in life begins with
talking with each other one-to-one,
Daniel Pink writes in his New York Times
best-seller To Sell Is Human: The Sur-
prising Truth About Moving Others. His
premise: We are all selling, even if our
job is not in sales.
How to work a room
in the digital age.
topics to bring up in case there is a lull
in conversation. Newspapers are full of
interesting items worthy of conversation.
By virtue of writing topics down, you will
remember them. Start with small talk as
if its the warm-up for the big talk.
Adjust your attitude. If you go
everywhere with the expectation
that youll have a good time meeting
new, interesting people and making solid
contacts, you will do that. Conversely,
if you attend an event thinking, What a
waste of timethen it will be.
What Do Leaders Do
to Be Notable?
EXTEND A HAND. According to David
Schwartz in The Magic of Thinking Big,
Leaders lean into conversations and
extend their hand for a handshake. By
doing so, they welcome and include
others. They also set the tone for the
event, the company or the conference.
Woody Morcott was CEO of the Dana
Corporation, a $7 billion company, he
wore a Looney Tunes tie to an event
attended by his division presidents,
vice presidents and their spouses.
During the reception, before the
presentation I was about to give,
I asked him about it. Susan, its
precisely because Im CEO of a $7
billion multinational corporation that
I wear this fun tie. I want my senior
executives and their spouses to feel
comfortable approaching me. And this
tie will do that.
TALK ABOUT. Former U.S. Secretary
of State Madeleine Albright wore a
variety of dazzling brooches during
her diplomatic career. The brooches
served as a playful form of nonverbal
communication, giving people
something to talk about when they
greeted her. Its complementary to the
verbal. Its an icebreaker, an opener,
Albright said in a 2010 interview with
Smithsonian Magazine.
surprising how many spouses and
guests of those invited to an event are
ignored. Avoid making that mistake.
Leaders who conduct social events for
employees and colleagues make it a
point to converse with their spouses
or guests. Once, during a presentation
for an association of mid-sized banks,
a spouse stood up and said, My
husbands senior vice president ignores
me as if I dont exist. Who does he
Members enjoy networking at the 2013 International Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Everything good
in life begins with
talking with each
other one-to-one.
think has the ear of the CEO [her husband] when we have
dinner or drive up to visit our son in college? You can bet Ill
make sure he doesnt get a promotion.
Make Others Comfortable
One way to be comfortable in any face-to-face situation is to
focus on making others feel comfortable with you. Its what
Toastmasters do during every meetingwarmly greet and
attend to guests. Therefore, we can be gracious and welcoming
at every event we attend.
Adele Scheele, an acclaimed career strategist, speaker and
author of the best-seller Skills for Success, suggests that we
always act like a host. Hosts make others feel welcome and
comfortable by approaching and greeting them. As people
respond, conversation ows.
Hosts also introduce people to each other, even if theyve
recently met. Hosts address others in a tone that is enthusiastic
while providing information that will spark interest and create
Establish Trust
One of the key responsibilities that Toastmasters leaders have is
to recruit members to serve as officers, conference and contest
chairs, contest judges and more. Personal interaction is key to get-
ting people to serve in volunteer roles, says Craig Harrison, DTM,
a past district governor. Few people will respond and say yes to a
mass-communication message asking for volunteers, he notes.
Your recruitment rate skyrockets when you ask face-to-face,
says Harrison, who has recruited board of directors members for
multiple nonprots. Personal communication, listening and eye
contact help seal the deal.
Limit Your Virtual Communication
It can be so much easier, faster and more convenient to use so-
cial media and digital means of communicating for some things,
like confirming a meeting or indicating a time delay. However, it
is less so for issues that require thoughtful communication.
I was an early adopter of social media. I am a blogger and
a LinkedIn and Facebook member. I also tweet. Each form of
social media has its place, but the point to remember is that
the online world can support, but not supplant, face-to-face
No matter how many text messages or emails we send and
receive, we also need to be comfortable, competent and con-
dent with in-person communications, whether its one-on-one
or as a group.
The Gift of Personal Connection
When we are learning, mixing or socializing in groups, whether
the gatherings are small or large, something special happens that
doesnt happen virtually. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer recognizes
Making the Most
of Meetings
How can we get the most out of both small and large
group meetings? Much like the answer to the classic
question, How do you get to Carnegie Hall? You
practice, practice, practice.
Here is a game plan for working any room:
Prepare for meetings by checking websites and search
engines for names of event sponsors, members,
speakers and attendees.
Prepare an engaging seven- to nine-second self-
introduction and tailor it to the event to give others
context for your presence.
Follow the local and national newsincluding sports,
entertainment and book and restaurant reviewsto be
knowledgeable and conversant.
Prepare three to five conversational topics for subjects
of interest.
Listen intently to a persons answers rather than thinking of
what to say next.
Leave your Bluetooth, smartphone and other electronic
devices out of sight.
Give people something to talk about by wearing an
eye-catching pin, a fun or interesting tie, a colorful scarf
or a hat.
Bring your best manners with you wherever you go.
You cant go wrong being well-mannered.
Approach those who look or sound like they are having
a good time. Target those who are alone or in groups of
three or more.
Exit conversations graciously.
Be warm, welcoming and interestedbe the one who
introduces people to each other.
Go everywhere to have a good time, and you will!
Take every chance you get to mingle in face-to-face space,
whether by addressing a group or being one of the invited
guests, and you will soon become a master of in-person
that something special happens when
people are together; earlier this year she
mandated that company employees work
in the office in lieu of working virtually
from home. She said she enacted the
policy to promote exciting ideas, noting
at a conference in April that people are
more collaborative and innovative when
theyre together.
Business Travelers
Go the Extra Mile
I have noticed that the number of
million-mile business travelers has
increased; perhaps because sales
and high-level executives know the
importance of going the distance to
meet their clients. Personal encounters,
including hand-shaking, establish and
set the tone for business relationships.
In meetings, some of my clients in-
clude associates from around the world.
Tey expect members of their team,
including executives, sales representa-
tives, oce sta and managers, to meet,
mingle, connect, engage and converse.
Executives want to build team spirit, and
so they foster cross-platform and cross-
division communication.
Tech Tactics
Still, staying in contact virtually to share
facts and data makes sense. Skype, Face-
Time, GoToMeeting and web-based con-
ferences provide users with an opportu-
nity to have a visual presence. However,
these types of virtual connections, while
beneficial, are not the ideal substitute
for in-person communications. If you
embrace the opportunity to build rap-
port, trust and connections with people,
you will glean the unexpected benefits
that only occur as a result of face-to-face
SUSAN ROANE is a speaker and the
author of How to Work a Room and Face to
Face: How to Reclaim the Personal Touch in
a Digital World. For more information, or to
take her Schmooze Quotient Quiz, visit www. or Twitter @SusanRoAne.
ver had this
conversation: Why
meet when you can
call? Why call when
you can email? Why
email when you can
text? Why text when
you can tweet? I
have this internal
conversation daily.
For many
millennials (people
born in the 1980s or
1990s, according to
the art of face-to-
face communication
seems archaic and
outdated, since we
can shoot off a text or
tweet in a few finger
flicks, or connect with
a group instantly via Google+ Hangouts.
However, face-to-face communication
is alive and well; if used correctly it can
make you stand out in todays crowded
talent pool.
In my studies as a millennial
speaker, dierent generations have
varying communication preferences.
Younger generations prefer high-tech
while older generations prefer high-touch
(aka face-to-face communication). Many
of todays hiring managers and decision
makers are seasoned leaders who still
prefer to connect in person before
making decisions. Give yourself the best
shot to succeed by harnessing both high-
tech and high-touch communication.
Millennials: Unplug yourselves to
form meaningful connections.
Are You Digitally
Connect Online
and Ofine
I get feedback all the
time that millennials
miss opportunities
for promotions or
closing deals due to
their lack of offline
connection skills. I
urge to you become
a double threat,
someone who can
connect quickly
online and connect
genuinely offline.
(To the older
generations reading
this article: The
pendulum swings
both ways, and you
may need to stretch
yourselves to become
more agile in your
high-tech communication abilities.)
Oine communication can take a
multitude of forms, such as one-on-one
meetings, team meetings, conferences,
parties, impromptu connections and live
speeches. Each situation has its own ripe
opportunity to make an impression and
solidify a connection. Elevate your inu-
ence with the ve rules of face-to-face
communication, which apply whether you
are on the receiving or delivering end.
Be prepared. Face-to-face
communication deserves forethought.
Every communication (whether offline
or online) has a purpose. Spend time
before such an interaction to gather your
Millennials can boost their careers by
learning how to connect genuinely oine.
thoughts and establish the purpose and
desired outcome. I recommend using the
app Evernote to capture any necessary
information before, during and after
the communication. If you use your
smartphone to take notes, inform the
individual so she doesnt mistake you for
rudely texting during the conversation.
Be present. Face-to-face com-
munication deserves full attention.
Much like when we drive a car, if we allow
our mobile devices to distract us, the
likelihood of veering off course increases
dramatically. Effective preparedness and
intentional note taking will help you stay
on track. Establish strong eye contact.
Resist the urge to multitask. Silence your
phone, and do not check it unless you are
expecting an urgent message. (If you are,
mention it before you start conversing.)
Be responsive. Face-to-face
communication deserves full par-
ticipation. Great conversation is like a
tennis match: One person serves up his
thoughts and the other reciprocates, back
and forth, back and forth. But in order to
successfully hit the ball over the net, you
must be paying close attention to every
detail of the communicators words, body
language and tone of voice. Add to the
dialogue with relevant questions, stories,
analogies, thoughts or facts.
Be concise. Face-to-face com-
munication deserves brevity. These
days, people have more than they can
handle, so be respectful and keep your
communication succinct. Building rap-
port with small talk can be helpful, but
limit it to less than five minutes. Put a
time limit on the conversation so you
both can stay on point.
Be consistent. Face-to-face com-
munication deserves the real you.
Social media enables us to create online
personal brands that allow others to
learn more about us. Many people will
search for you online so they can size
you up. Make sure your online presence
communicates who you truly are.
Time will tell how new technology such as
augmented reality or holograms will alter
how we communicate in person in the
future; but for today, face-to-face com-
munication resonates with many of todays
leaders. Arm yourself with these five rules
today and thrive tomorrow.
RYAN JENKINS, ACB, is a member of
Peachtree Toastmasters in Atlanta,
Georgia, and a millennial speaker,
blogger and podcaster. Visit his blog at or follow him on
Twitter @theRyanJenks.
Give yourself the best
shot to succeed by
harnessing both high-
tech and high-touch
Find the Toastmaster
magazine app on the
Apple App Store
How to Be a Great Mentor
The 7 traits mentees look for in mentors.
he concept of a mentor was
introduced to us by Homer. In the
Odyssey, Odysseus, on the eve of
his epic voyage, leaves his son Telemachus
in the care of his trusted friend, Mentor.
It is later revealed that Mentor is actually
Athenathe goddess of wisdom, inspira-
tion, skill and strategyin disguise.
Mentors play a critical role in the
personal and professional development
of individuals. Teir insight and practical
experience pave the roads to success for
future generations.
As students, we are fortunate enough to
encounter potential mentors on a regular
basis. Our experiences in engaging with
possible mentors range from never getting
a reply, to getting an introductory email, to
learning to count someone as family. What
turns an adviser or boss into a trusted
mentor, someone whom others turn to for
wisdom, inspiration, skill and strategy?
What can you do to maximize your
eectiveness as a mentor? Below we pres-
entfrom the perspective of a mentee
seven habits of highly eective mentors:
Humanize yourself. Sometimes the
impressive titles on your desk and the
awards on your wall can make you seem
pretty intimidating, discouraging us from
speaking frankly about our problems or
asking questions we fear will seem silly.
We wouldnt be meeting with you if we
didnt already respect and admire you, so
dont be afraid to admit your own stum-
bling blocks. Make yourself more relat-
able by sharing a big mistake you made,
a regret you have or something youd do
differently in hindsight. Such a confidence
makes it easier for us to admit our own
struggles and helps us see that failures are
natural pit stops on the road to success.
Make regular appearances. Just
as constellations offered ancient civi-
lizations comfort with their seasonal pres-
ence, you give us reassurance when you
check in with us periodically. Sometimes
we hesitate to contact you until we have
something big to report. Make an effort
to keep in touch, especially if you havent
heard from us in a while. An unsolicited
email with a link to an article of inter-
est and a line asking how were doing is a
thoughtful and easy way to reach out.
Provide balanced feedback.
Once you feel youve gotten to know us,
give us honest feedback about our perfor-
mance and personality. One of Ninas most
influential mentors is like a coach. When
Nina was having a hard time, this mentor
told her that she believed in Ninas potential
and listed qualities she saw as her strengths.
She shared a few things Nina hadnt identi-
fied, and her encouragement changed the
way Nina thought about herself. She told
Nina not only how she could improve, but
also gave her specific, actionable recommen-
dations for how to do so. She anticipated
the hurdles Nina might face and provided
strategies for how to best tackle them.
Ask for something in return. No
good relationship is one-sided. You are
giving a lot to your mentees, and while many
mentors consider the feel-good nature of
mentoring reward enough, dont hesitate to
ask your mentee for a favor or two.
For example, if youre a professor, per-
haps your student mentee can advise in-
coming students on how to make the most
of a research internship with you, or serve
on a department curriculum review com-
mittee to determine more eective ways
of teaching the material. Were attered to
be asked and welcome the opportunity to
show our gratitude.
Foster community. Establish a
sense of community by inviting us
and your other mentees to group get-
togethers outside the office or classroom.
This behind-the-scenes exposure to your
world allows us to learn about the many
other parts of your life you value beyond
work, such as family, friends and hobbies.
Jennifers mentor hosts a holiday party
each year, as well as periodic happy hours
at local restaurants.
Make introductions. Just as
companies have a board of direc-
tors to guide their growth, we benefit from
developing a diverse board of mentors or
a mentoring team. Like the pantheon atop
Mount Olympus, a group of mentors can
offer broad expertise and even create the
opportunity for new partnerships.
Encourage us to think critically about
whose guidance can build on yours and
address the other needs or facets of our life.
Connect us with individuals you know, and
ask us if there is anyone else we might like to
meet. Make an email introduction, or even
better, arrange a coee break or lunch dur-
ing which you can introduce us personally.
Be a mentee. Our experience as
mentees is the foundation for our own
budding efforts as mentors. Everyone from
the middle-school student to the most
senior CEO can benefit from being both a
mentor and a mentee. Continue investing
in yourself and your own development.
Whether youre a seasoned mentor
with many mentees or a new mentor just
starting to cultivate your rst mentoring
relationship, keeping in mind these points
will help ensure that both you and your
mentees grow and strengthen as a result of
your mentorship.
leader at Stanford Universitys School of
Medicine in Stanford, California. NINA
VASAN is a social entrepreneur and
student at Harvard Medical School in
Boston, Massachusetts. Przybylo and
Vasan are co-authors of the new book
Do Good Well: Your Guide to Leadership,
Action, and Social Innovation.
Right after Wyoming became a
U.S. state in 1890, a celebration
ensued that included a speech from
a woman named Theresa Jenkins.
According to historian and journalist
Gail Collins, Jenkins could be heard
by the crowd that extended as far as
four blocks away.
It turned out she had been practicing by standing
out in the open prairie, giving her speech while her
husband sat in a buggy, backing farther and farther
away and yelling Louder! Collins wrote in a New York
Times column.
Today, technology would reshape that speech for
Jenkinsand for her audience. Instead of a long, loud
speech, shed give a short, intimate TED talk. Her
makeup, hairstyle, wardrobe and unobtrusive micro-
phone would be planned with high-denition cameras
in mind, recording her every move. Her talk would be
live-streamed on the Internet, archived on YouTube
and live-tweeted by the audience. With slides pro-
jected behind her, and an on-stage monitor in front of
her displaying the words of the speech, thered be no
need for a lectern, text, memorization or even staying
in one spot. Her listeners wouldnt have traveled for
hours to see her in personthey would be just as free
to roam, or not attend at all. Technology would let the
speaker reach millions, even if no one else was in the
audience on site.
Weve gone from long-winded, owery oratory to
slickly produced speeches that can be tweeted or live-
streamed. Speakers are more polished and poised than
ever, thanks to technological wonders.
Which technologies, in particular, have led to
signicant changes in what speakersand audi-
encescould expect? What are the implications for
audiences, speakers and society?
Amplication of Sound
Civil War scholar Harold Holzer, author of Lincoln at
Cooper Union: The Speech That Made Abraham Lincoln
President, pokes fun at old- and new-style speaking and
technology in the introduction to his books paperback
More than nine hundred people filled the Great Hall of
Cooper Union in New York to hear Abraham Lincolns
From soapbox to
the evolution of
public speaking
brings new
Has Changed
great speech that night The orator made
careful use of the microphone, aware that
the event was being taped for television.
Audience members could not help but
notice how frequently he gulped Poland
Spring water as he held the hot, floodlit
stage for nearly an hour and a half. Only
one cell phone rang during the entire
Holzers description, obviously, is not
of Lincoln delivering his speechits of
a re-creation by actor Sam Waterston
144 years later. When Lincoln did speak,
Holzer notes, his voice, pitched higher
than many of the great orators of his day,
didnt need a microphone and carried
into crowds beautifully.
Lincoln died before he could benet
from either the microphone or recorded
sound. Both technologies emerged in
the 1870s and have been revolutionizing
public speaking ever since. In an article
about Bing Crosby and singing, Paul Ford
discusses the impact of microphones on
singers, and his observations are just as
applicable to public speaking:
Microphones changed everything.
Rather than spraying the balcony with
emotion (or using a simple megaphone
for amplication), the act of performance
became more intimate, the singer more vul-
nerable, Ford writes in How Bing Crosby
and the Nazis Helped to Create Silicon
Valley, posted on the New Yorker maga-
zines website (
As microphones evolved, far more
vocal subtlety could be conveyed. Te
dynamics of entertainment allowed for
quiet. A dierent sort of voice found its
place on stage, writes Ford.
Speakers owe Crosby credit for helping
to advance the development of magnetic
tape recording, in which he personally
invested. Suddenly audiorecorded
mediawas exible, Ford writes. It could
be cut and pasted, rearranged, and edited.
As public speakers, weve gone from long-winded, owery oratory to slickly produced
speeches that can be tweeted or live-streamed.
Modern technology shows that speeches of the past, such as the ones Martin Luther King Jr.
gave, are highly tweetable.
The Advent of Television
With its ability to let distant audiences
see as well as hear the speaker, TV had
a dramatic impact on public speech.
In her book Eloquence in an Electronic
Age, Kathleen Hall Jamieson summed
up that impact: A talent for digesting
a speech into a memorable phrase is a
characteristic of eloquent persons. In our
age of television, where political speakers
are more likely to be heard in news clips
than in any other environment, the value
of this talent is magnified. Shes speaking
about the soundbite, which in recent U.S.
presidential elections has dropped
to a mere eight seconds or less, according
to a 2011 Boston Globe article.
Television changed more than simply
the length of speeches being broadcast.
With it came other inventions, like
the autocue (more commonly known
as the teleprompter), invented in 1950
for a television program. Eventually,
the advances reflected on television
would fit onto a smaller screen with the
explosion of online video. Small screens
helped to shift rhetorical styles from
a more masculine, stentorian tone to
the conversational, quieter its just you
and me approach.
The reason is simple: Cameras
can zoom in to create an intimate
experience between the viewer and the
speaker. Suddenly, tactics for playing to
the big crowd didnt work as well.
Small details in a speakers verbal
and non-verbal behavior may appear
very noticeable and exaggerated when
seen close-up on the small screen,
writes Max Atkinson in Our Masters
Voices: The Language and Body-
language of Politics. Such dynamics
gave rise to the low-key style of public
speaking considered best-suited for
televised talks and TED talks.
Atkinson, writing on his blog
(, points
out the trend in Britain for politicians
to prefer TV interviews instead of
speechesdivorcing the speaker from
a live, reacting audience. As a result,
effective political speech-making has
become a dying art, he writes.
When Thomas Edison gured
out how to record sound, that
new technology inadvertently
helped public speakers discover
something that, for the most part,
had previously escaped their
notice: the um. The little gap-
lling word, which occurs in some
form in every language and makes
up about 10 percent of normal
speech, came to attention when
speeches could be played over
and over again..
This development is described
in Michael Erards book Um:
Slips, Stumbles, and Verbal
Blunders, and What They Mean.
Gramophones, phonographs, wax
cylinders, resin discs, telephones,
microphones, then wire recordings
and radio broadcasts, then talking
pictures: these new technologies
let people hear speech as it really
was for the rst timean activity
that happened in time, dynamic
and not frozen in writing.
Though he invented the device
that made the um evident,
Edison wasnt immune to ums
himself. Erard writes, We have
evidence of American umming
with the oldest extant recording
of Thomas Edisons voice, which
dates to 1888.
Denise Graveline
Speakers such as U.S. President Barak Obama use teleprompter technology to look and
sound more polished.
Problem or Opportunity?
Public speakers see technology as
both a problem and an opportunity. In
the course of protesting technologys
negative impact on public speaking, a
few myths get created.
For example, some critics suggest
that speechwriters are now focused
solely on crafting tweetable lines
in major speechespithy sentences
that allow someone to retweet the
writers post on Twitter to t within the
140-character limit, with room to spare.
Recently, however, Yahoo News created an
interactive tool that lets you measure the
tweetability of several major speeches
of U.S. President Barack Obama. His
speeches get a mixed ranking; some are
ranked very tweetable, others less so. But
when the tool is used on major speeches
of the past, they, too, turn out to be highly
tweetable. Malcom Xs Te Ballot or the
Bullet speech comes in at a 78 percent
tweetability rating and Martin Luther King
Jr.s Ive Been to the Mountaintop speech
at 81 percent. Its possible that an excellent
speech also is a tweetable speech, without
any extra help from the writers.
One of technologys opportunities for
speakersthe chance to look and sound
eortless or more polishedalso may
be a problem for speakers if technology
smooths out rough edges at the expense
of a real connection. Holzer, the Civil War
scholar who reviewed the accounts of
people who attended Lincolns 1860
speaking tours, says observers were ini-
tially taken aback by the future presidents
uncommon speaking style and tonenot
considered at all polished in his day.
They all seem to say, for the first 10
minutes I couldnt believe the way he
looked, the way he sounded, his accent.
But after 10 minutes, the flash of his eyes,
the ease of his presentation overcame
all doubts, and I was enraptured All
of a sudden its the ideas that supersede
whatever flaws there are.
Contrast that with a more recent
example shared by Michael Erard, author
of Um: Slips, Stumbles, and Verbal
Blunders, and What They Mean. In an
interview, Erard says that U.S. Secretary
of Education Arne Duncan spoke
flawlessly in expressing sadness over the
2009 beating death of a 16-year-old. So
flawlessly that he didnt sound genuinely
sad, outraged, or shocked, adds Erard.
It was umless, pauseless, fully fluent.
He sounded as if he was readingas if
his outrage was scripted the requisite,
ritualistic expression of a human emotion
by an institutions human spokesperson,
but not the genuine interaction between
one human and other humans. I think
people should talk like peoplewhy
would we want to sound like machines?
British speaker coach Peter Botting,
who has worked with speakers around the
world, says that kind of perfection spells
trouble for the average speaker. Te
quantity of polished input that audiences
now experienceor are subjected to, due
to technologymeans that expectations
for speakers are higher than ever before,
says Botting in an interview.
Far from adding to the speakers
credibility, he believes that the trend
toward overly polished speakers results
in soaring levels of public skepticism.
He calls authenticity the new must-have
that is seldom given to the audience.
DENISE GRAVELINE is a Washington,
D.C.-based speaker coach and
communications consultant who
writes about women and public
speaking on The Eloquent Woman blog
Te chance to look
and sound eortless or
more polished may be
a problem for speakers
if technology smooths
out rough edges at
the expense of a real
African-American poet Maya Angelou
said, Poetry is music written for
the human voice. Poetry, like your
presentation, is meant to be voiced and
heard. So for a start, we can inject our
words with a little poetry, a little music.
Here are five tips for doing so.
Read poetry and song lyrics for
inspiration. Reading good poetryin
your mind, or better, aloudcan spark
ideas about how to say something more
compellingly. If you dont know where to
start, begin with the greats, classic and
modern: William Blake, William Word-
sworth, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson,
Robert Frost, T.S. Eliot, Seamus Heaney,
Pablo Neruda, Sylvia Plath, the list goes
on. Or the greats in whatever language is
your medium.
African-American poet Langston
Hughes wrote, Ive known rivers: / Ive
known rivers ancient as the world and old-
er than the ow of human blood in human
veins. What about those lines grabs your
ear? Maybe in your speech, the repetition
of a key phrase would help your audience
focus on itand thus remember it.
Good poetrygood
writing, for that matter
has economy. It uses no
more words than are
needed, and the shortest
words appropriate.
Poetry is music written for the human
voice. Maya Angelou
hich opening line makes
your ears perk up:These
smaller and more agile forces
represent an elite band of highly motivated
war fighters. Or, from Shakespeares
Henry V,We few, we happy few, we band
of brothers; for he today that sheds his
blood with me shall be my brother.
We can be forgiven for not writing
poetry to match that of the most
famous bard of the English language.
But sometimes, in modern-day
communications, we lose sight of the
value of poetry.
In many workplaces, tired jargon
often rendered meaningless by overuse
reigns. A paradigm shift to leverage
new capabilities might sound smart
at first, until you try to figure out what
it means. Weve endured death-by-
PowerPoint replete with nouns made
into verbs by adding ize: incentivize,
operationalize, systematize. Some jargon
is certainly useful and necessary among
specialists. But all too often, we use
overly technical or wordy language. Most
of the time, simple is better.
How can we avoid eye-glazing
language? How can we breathe life
into speeches and presentations?
Say It with Poetry
How musical rhythms and vivid language
can punch up your speech.
Reading poetry can provide inspiration for speeches.
Whats most important, though, is to
read poets whose work you enjoy. Reach
across time, space, gender and race to
discover new territory. Or if not poetry,
turn to song lyrics. From golden old-
ies like Stand by Me (When the night
has come / and the land is dark / And
the moon is the only light well see / No I
wont be afraid.) to contemporary artists
such as the band Coldplay (Look at the
stars, / Look how they shine for you, / And
everything you do, / Yeah, they were all
yellow.). Tats poetry, too.
Draw on all five senses. Poets go
beyond painting a picture; they make
it real with sound, smell, taste and touch.
Because the sense of smell is closely
related to memory, describing a scent or
taste can enliven a story you are telling.
In the famous madeleine scene in Marcel
Prousts Remembrance of Things Past, the
taste of a tea-soaked cookie spontaneous-
ly calls forth a memory: I feel something
start within me, something that leaves
its resting-place and attempts to rise,
something that has been embedded like
an anchor at a great depth.
A sound, touch or scent can take your
audience there, more powerfully than can
an image alone. In Te Gift, Chinese-
American poet Li-Young Lee wrote, I
cant remember the tale, / but hear his
voice still, a well / of dark water, a prayer.
/ And I recall his hands, / two measures
of tenderness / he laid against my face.
Listen to the sound, pace and
rhythm. You can hear the cadence
in older than the flow of human blood in
human veins, and in a call to bear the bur-
den. You can hear it in Winston Churchills
1940 speech to the House of Commons:
And even if, which I do not for a
moment believe, this island or a large
part of it were subjugated and starv-
ing, then our empire beyond the seas
would carry on the struggle, until,
in Gods good time, the new world,
with all its power and might, steps
forth to the rescue and the liberation
of the old.
Tis is where the music comes in. Te
sound of the words, how they t together,
whether they ow. When rehearsing a
speech or presentation, we instinctively
listen for uidity. If you repeatedly stumble
over a phrase, take the time to smooth it
out. Again, reading good poetry aloud will
help attune your ear to the music youre
aiming for.
Challenge yourself with simile
and metaphor. Simile is the com-
parison of one thing to another, using like
or as; metaphor is a comparison without
using like or as. These parts of speech
make poetry soar, as an updraft rushes
beneath wings and carries a bird higher.
So, too, can simile and metaphor enrich
your words and deepen their meaning.
American poet Mary Olivers poem
Te Deer begins, You never know. /
Te body of night opens / like a river, it
drifts upward like white smoke, / like so
many wrappings of mist. Oliver trans-
forms the night into something physical,
then uid, then ethereal; she changes its
form and meaning through simile and
Keep it simple. Good poetry
good writing, for that matterhas
economy. It uses no more words than
are needed, and the shortest words ap-
propriate. For Abraham Lincolns first
inaugural, in 1861, his Secretary of State,
William Seward, drafted an ending: I
close. We are not, we must not be, aliens
or enemies, but fellow countrymen and
brethren. Lincolns revision was more
powerful: I am loath to close. We are
not enemies, but friends. We must not
be enemies.
Even the 13th-century Persian mystical
teacher and poet Jalaluddin Rumi was
startlingly direct: The minute I heard my
first love story / I started looking for you,
not knowing / how blind that was. / Lovers
dont finally meet somewhere. / Theyre
in each other all along (translated by
Coleman Barks).
So we come full circle. Keeping it
simple is about keeping it easy for listen-
ers to followthat is, easy to understand.
Sure, you must use the technical vocabu-
lary of your profession. But to really get
your listeners attention, punch up your
presentation with the clarity, color and
music of poetry.
KATE BATEMAN is a freelance writer
and former U.S. State Department
civil servant.She is currently living in
southwest England.
To really get your
listeners attention,
punch up your
presentation with the
clarity, color and
music of poetry.
Read it on
your tablet
Read it on
your tablet
Like Wow! Slang Is Ill, Chill and Copacetic
lang is hot and slang is cool.
Slang is righteous and slang is
wicked. Slang is the bees knees,
the cats meow, the cats whiskers and
the cats pajamas. Slang is swell, ducky,
peachy keen, super, tops, nifty, far
out, groovy, hip, excellent, endsville,
flipville, copacetic, outasight, and totally
tubular. Slang is fresh, fly, phat, fabulous,
fantabulous, uberda bomb. Slang is
ace, awesome, bad, sweet, smooth, sassy,
unreal, primo, fab, gear, tuff, the most,
the max. Slang is beast, boss, dope, tite,
mint, neat, neato, nasty, fetch, chill, cool
beans, ice cold, large, rad, sick, sickening,
ill, killer, def, epic, chunky, cretaceous,
whoa, and like wow!
Thats more than 60 ways of saying
that if variety is the spice of life, slang is
the spice of language. Slang adds gusto
to the feast of words, as long as speakers
and writers remember that too much
spice can kill the feast of any dish.
What is slang? In the preface to their
Dictionary of American Slang, authors
Harold Wentworth and Stuart Berg
Flexner define it as the body of words
and expressions frequently used by or
intelligible to a rather large portion of
the general American public, but not
accepted as good, formal usage by the
majority. Slang, then, is seen as a kind
of vagabond language that prowls the
outskirts of respectable speech, yet few
of us can get along without it.
Nobody is quite sure where the
word slang comes from. According to
the illustrious American journalist H. L.
Mencken, slang developed in the 18th
century (it was first recorded in 1756),
either from an erroneous past tense of
sling (sling-slang-slung) or from the
word language itself, as in (thieve)
slang(uage) and (beggar)slang(uage).
The second theory makes the point
that jargon and slang originate with,
If variety is the spice of life, slang is the spice of language.
More than 60 slang terms describe the word wonderful.
Lingo of the
Virtual World
Are you a mopper? Have you
exhibited crypto rage? Do you ever
feel tweepish about your tweets?
If you understand these ques-
tions, you are clearly familiar
with online slang. As the world of
online activities expands, so does
the lingo describing such activi-
ties. Lets look at the language in
those opening questions. Accord-
ing to the website NetLingo:
Mopper is a mobile shopper,
someone who uses mobile de-
vices to shop online.
Crypto rage is akin to road rage
except the angry actions are
carried out on computers rather
than drivers of cars.
Tweepish means to feel sheepish
or sorry about something you
An older slang term is blog.
Coined in 1999, the word is a
contraction of the term web log.
Plenty of colorful jargon is tai-
lored to the world of Twitteror
the Twitterverse, as its known.
Examples from NetLingo:
Tweepsa persons Twitter fol-
lowers, as in Twitter peeps (as
in Twitter people).
Tweetupa meetup of people
who use Twitter.
Twitteratithe tweeting elite,
those whose Twitter feeds draw
thousands of followers.
Twibea group of Twitter users
interested in a common topic.
Tere are even online slang
expressions to describe online
slang, including blargon,
cyberslang, e-lingo and the classic
the Toastmaster staff
and are used by, a particular trade or
class group, but slang words come to
be slung around to some extent by a
whole population.
Slang Is Universal
Slang is nearly as old as language
itself, and in all languages at all times
some slang expressions have entered
the mainstream of the vocabulary to
pollute or enrich, depending on ones
view of the matter. We find traces of
slang in the Sanskrit of ancient India,
where writers amused themselves now
and then by calling a head a dish. The
14th-century English poet Geoffrey
Chaucer used gab for talk and bones for
dice, exactly as we employ them today.
William Shakespeare, the literary lord of
stage and classroom, coined costard (a
large apple) to mean head and clay-
brained and knotty pated to mean slow
of wit. We discover laugh yourself into
stitches in Twelfth Night, not so hot
in The Winters Tale, and right on in
Julius Caesar.
There are some very human reasons
why the river of slang courses through
every language. One of them is that
people like novelty and variety in their
lives and in their language. To satisfy
this urge, they continually coin new
slang words and expressions. This
article began with 60-something breezy
ways of saying wonderful, but that feat
pales next to the 2,964 synonyms for
drunk that Paul Dickson trots out in
his book Drunkfrom the euphemistic
tired to the comical plastered, from the
nautical afloat to the erudite Bacchi-
plenus, from the elegant inebriated to
the uncategorizable zoozled.
Second, slang allows us to break
the ice and shift into a more casual
and friendly gear. Whats cooking? or
Hows it going? sounds more easygoing
and familiar than How do you do?
Slang, said writer Carl Sandburg, is
language that rolls up its sleeves, spits
on its hands, and gets to work.
Slang in the Business World
A third motive is sheer playfulness, which
we see with slang at play in the world of
business. Blamestorming (rather than
brainstorming) is the act of meeting to
discuss a failure and find a scapegoat.
A carbon Bigfoot is an anti-environmental
type who has zero regard for the magni-
tude of his carbon footprint. And bang for
the buck means that your business is get-
ting the most firepower for each dollar
that it spends.
Finally, as English writer G. K. Chesterton
proclaimed, All slang is metaphor, and
all metaphor is poetry. Slang abounds in
fresh gures of speech that evoke arresting
word pictures in the minds eye. Commer-
cial slang often employs comparisons with
sports because both commerce and sports
are competitive enterprises that require
team eorts to succeed. Tus, if your cor-
poration is ahead of the count, that means
youre ahead of the game because, like a
baseball pitcher, you have more strikes
than balls against the batter. Youve been
able to level the playing field and generate
a ballpark gure. Your business plan is a
real gamechanger.
Slang is a powerful stimulant that
keeps language alive and growing.
This is an updated version of Richard
Lederers article Slang As It Is Slung,
which originally appeared in the April
2005 Toastmaster magazine.
Diego, California, is Toastmasters 2002
Golden Gavel Award recipient. He is the
author of the best-selling book Anguished
English and many other books on
language. Learn more at www.verbivore.
Slang, said American
writer Carl Sandburg, is
language that rolls up
its sleeves, spits on its
hands, and gets to work.
Marketing Mind Control
The shocking truth about why you just bought a hula hoop.
was an advertising copywriter for 33 years and I have the
facial tic to prove it. In fact, you may be familiar with some of
my more memorable slogans: Void Where Prohibited, Some
Assembly Required, andmy personal favoritePast Results
Are No Guarantee of Future Performance. Tere was a joke we
used to tell: Dont let my mother know I work in advertising.
She thinks I play piano in a brothel. Ha-ha. Get it? Like working
in advertising is worse than well, you know. Why is this?
Its because people think advertising is some kind of
insidious form of mind control where marketers brainwash
gullible consumers into buying products they dont need. Yeah?
So? Whats wrong with that? If you only bought stu you really,
really needed youd have food, water and a toothbrushand
maybe a transistor radio in case a giant asteroid hits the earth
and you want to know if you should go into work. Let me tell
you some things about advertising and marketing. Advertising
tells you what to buy. Public relations messages tell you what to
thinkalthough that isnt so bad. Tinking is hard. If you want
to do it for me, knock yourself out.
Millions of people go to work every day to make tons of
stu. If nobody buys what they make, then were going to
have the biggest garage sale you ever saw. Do you need a hula
hoop? No. Do you get a feeling of enormous accomplishment
when you actually manage to keep the thing around your waist
for a few turns, just like those little kids who do it for hours
with annoying ease? Yes! Youre also providing work for the
medical profession when you throw your back out. So therea
seemingly useless ring of plastic suddenly becomes a path to
personal ego gratication and a way for the local chiropractor
to feed his family.
Tis whole mind control thing started with a guy named
Vance Packard back in 1957. He wrote a book called Te
Hidden Persuaders in which he portrayed ad agencies as
laboratories run by evil scientists picking apart the human
brain to nd out how people really make decisions, going so far
as to hire psychiatrists to help them plumb the depths of the
subconscious. To hear Packard tell it, Foote, Cone & Belding,
one of the biggest agencies of the time, should have been called
Freud, Jung & Rorschach. What they found is that were all a
bundle of unconscious fears, insecurities, doubts, yearnings
and emotional needssomething they could have learned
in two hours by going to a Woody Allen movie. To their way
of thinking, the real answer to why I buy a certain brand of
toothpaste isnt to promote good oral hygiene. Its because my
mother never loved me, and if I have fewer cavities and whiter
teeth and fresher breath, maybe she will.
Having worked in agencies for many years, I can tell you
this: I saw lots of crazy people, but they werent scientists.
Tey were copywriters and art directors hiding in their oces
burning incense, chanting incantations to the gods, and sifting
through goat entrails hoping to nd an idea for the campaign
that was due in two days. If there was any psychiatry involved,
it was to keep them from developing the psychosis that comes
from staring at a blank sheet of paper for days on end. Trust
me, theres nothing sadder than to see a bright, educated,
creative person wandering around the oce yelling, An idea!
An idea! My Audi A8 W12 with BOSE surround sound, rear
seat entertainment, and rear view camera for an idea!
Te real tragedy is that none of this is necessary. Forget the
behavioral research and the demographic proles and the Ph.D.s in
marketing. Just draw a big starburst and put Free or Discount or
Buy One, Get One Free in the middle. Youll get trampled by the
people busting through the doors. Science? Hardly.
So get out there and shop, folks. Youll satisfy some deep-
seated psychological needs for acceptance, youll stimulate
the economy, and youll keep ad people from jumping out the
window. But hurrythe sales end Saturday.
JOHN CADLEY, a former advertising copywriter, is a freelance
writer and musician living in Fayetteville, New York.
of the highest summits of the Swiss Alps in Verbier, Switzerland.
Husqvarna sport bike in Ocotillo Wells, California.
3 | NUNO FARIA FROM PORTO, PORTUGAL, stands with the
Burj Al Arab, a luxury hotel in Dubai, United Arab Emirates,
in the background.
by Niagara Falls in Ontario, Canada.
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